UI collaborates with ILO, LWR to train teachers and community leaders on child labour

The University of Ibadan has integrated the customised International Labour Organisation (ILO) SCREAM-‘Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts, and the Media’ curriculum into the institution’s GES programme.

This was announced at the start of a six-day programme held between February 26 and March 2.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) organised the workshop, which was supported by Lutheran World Relief (LWR), to train parents, teachers, and community leaders from Idanre and Ifedore Local Government Areas in the cocoa and artisanal mining sectors.

It was held at the university’s Balogun Subomi Conference Centre.

The ILO’s country director, Ms. Vanessa Phala, announced during the opening and start of the six-day training that this was the third part of the certified SCREAM Module.

The director, represented by Dr Agatha Kolawole, the national project coordinator for ACCEL AFRICA, announced that the SCREAM Module has been mainstreamed into the university’s GES programme as a result of the ILO/UI relationship.

She went on to say “it is indeed an indication of progress on our partnership in the coordinated campaign to urgently eliminate the child labour menace from the Artisanal Gold Mining (ASGM) and cocoa value chains, and by extension, our Nigerian and African societies.”

She stated that child labour had remained a global phenomena despite attempts at all levels to eradicate it, adding that “globally and especially in Africa, estimates have continued to soar and are further exacerbated by the declining global economy. According to the latest global estimates, there are now more children in child labour in Africa than in the rest of the world combined.”

While emphasising the ILO’s commitment to promoting decent work and a child labour-free zone, she urged participants to cooperate and fully participate in the training, recognising their moral responsibilities as change agents and future influencers in this respect.

Declaring the workshop open, the vice chancellor of University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale asserted the readiness of the institution to play its part in supporting and executing Child Labour Education and Resilience (CLEAR) project of the Lutheran World Relief (LWR) targeted at addressing the child labour saying such a great vision is good for humanity.

While noting that there had been global concerns on the concept of child labour and the damage it had caused children as individuals or and communities globally, the VC said “it is gladdening to see that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Lutheran World Relief (LWR) have taken the lead in taking deliberate steps in eradicating child labour and as such have become pacesetters in Nigeria in this regard.”

The efforts of the LWR in partnering with the Federal Government to reduce the global number of child labourers in the cocoa value chain estimated at 1.56million globally, he noted, had really been impressive.

“The curriculum will not only focus on the theory but the practice of the principles being taught and will practically make you experience how to be a child in our society as well as the implication of hazardous labour in agriculture, your role and our role in cocoa agriculture and how gender affects how these ideas are explored among other things,” the VC told the participants.

Speaking about the LWR and its CLEAR project, funded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the deputy chief of Party of the organisation, Mr Olawale Awoyemi said that the goal is to significantly reduce the incidence of child labour practices among cocoa farmers in Ifedore and Idanre local government areas, by creating awareness on its negative impacts among parents teachers and community leaders.

The director, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETel), University of Ibadan, Adedoyin Aguoru in her welcome address noted that the specialised SCREAM training aligned with the CLEAR project to support sensitization, capacity building and entrepreneurship in schools and requisite workplaces.

She thanked the former director of CETel, who doubles as the technical leader of the facilitating team, Professor Akin Odebunmi as well as Professors Ayobami Hammed and Ifeanyi Onyoenoru for putting the SCREAM training in place and other tutorial assistants and to ensure that the programme runs smoothly.

In her address at the at the closing ceremony of the training workshop on Friday, the UI’s Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labor in Supply Chain in Africa (ACCEL) team lead and deputy vice chancellor(Academic) UI, Professor Ronke Baiyeroju, noted that the University of Ibadan team has worked tirelessly towards developing a nonexistent SCREAM module and adapting the existent one on agriculture to the Nigerian environment.